• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Travelers illegally occupy Bicester Park

Thames Valley Police issued travellers, who had occupied Glory Farm Park, with an eviction notice which told them to leave the green space off Sunderland Drive by this evening (Saturday, July 8).

Bicester town councillor Sam Holland noticed the travellers had occupied the park on Thursday and yesterday he notified the police and Thames Valley’s police commissioner Matthew Barber.

Mr Holland, who represents Bicester East, told the Oxford Mail: On Friday I spoke with the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber who has tasked police resources to be available to enforce the eviction notice which has a deadline of Saturday evening.

“Whilst we recognise travelling communities have longstanding historic cultural traditions, we at a local level must ensure the law is enforced and residents’ lives are not disrupted by illegal occupation of the land.

“That’s why we’ve acted swiftly here in Bicester with the police.”

The travellers managed to gain entry to the park as the gate with access to the area had its lock broken according to Mr Holland.

Mr Barber said: “I have pushed Thames Valley Police for a more consistent approach to dealing with illegal encampments.

“New legislation gives the police more powers when there is a significant impact on communities and whilst operational decisions on individual cases are rightly in the hands of the police, I am encouraged to see a fair and firm approach being taken to applying the law.”

Mr Barber said the impact of travellers on the police force’s resources would be less if councils did more to provide “official sites”.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “We are aware of an unauthorised encampment which was reported on Sunderland Drive in Bicester on Thursday.

“A section 60C of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 was served yesterday and complied with.

“No arrests or vehicles were seized as a result of police activity.”

Oxford mail